For reasons that... well, let's just say there are reasons, this blog and indeed my life is now a solo venture. I'm temporarily living with my friend Sue in East Sutton. The two main consequences of this as far as the blog goes are that a) I now have access to a new chunk of countryside (plus a lovely rural garden) and b) I am forced to use the most recalcitrant photo-editing set-up it's ever been my profound misfortune to encounter so there may be a bit of a shortage of photos for a while.
So I have lots of places to explore, if it would only stop raining, and hopefully lots of photos to take. But the best wildlife I've seen here so far is stuff I've found when I had no camera anyway. On the first day, we went for a walk just across the local lanes, and I found a Green Woodpecker nest hole in a small apple tree, only a metre or so above ground level. I knew it was a Green Woodpecker nest hole because there were strange squeaky noises coming from it, and when I peered at the hole I saw (for a moment, before it ducked) a pretty much full-grown juvenile Green Woodie peering back out at me.
Doing the same walk, two days later, I passed the nest hole (no squeaks now) and then reached a row of tall poplars just as a bird fell out of one of them with much panicked flapping and scrabbling. It was the baby woodie (or one of its siblings), having a dodgy gravity moment. It plopped onto the ground nearly at my feet, and then began rather inexpertly to climb up the tree trunk while I watched and tried to keep my laughter quiet and discreet.
While out running on the lanes, I've met a Badger, a Fox and on another day a Weasel. Linnets and Yellowhammers have been making their presence known, and I've also seen the peculiar local speciality fly-over - Mediterranean Gull.
A few photos, firstly a Small Red Damselfly which was about the only decent Odonata from a trip to the New Forest in unsuitable weather last weekend. Actually there were Keeled Skimmers and Broad-bodied Chasers too, but not the hoped-for Southern Damselflies. I realised later that this was because I'd been looking on the wrong side of the road.
A Slow-worm. No, hang on, two Slow-worms. These were relaxing under a bit of wood in Sue's garden, and I suspect they represent just the tip of a Slow-worm iceberg.